Russian Armenians Heed Presidential Appeal for Investment

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Less than a week after President Serzh Sarkisian made his appeal to Armenia’s around the world to invest in their homeland, Russian Armenian businessmen have pledged almost $300 million in social and economic investmen’s to the Republic of Armenia.

The pledges, totaling $290 million, came in response to the President’s speech at the "Baze" All Armenian Youth Jamboree. During the jamboree, Sarkisian had issued a call to action for Armenia’s to become more active in the development of the republic.

"[Armenia’s] must be more active and initiating in the efforts directed towards building, improving and flourishing the homeland," he said.

In separate letters responding to President Sarkisian’s appeal, Samvel Karapeatian, Sergey Hambardzumian, and Gagik Zakarian pledged to invest in various sectors of Armenia’s society and economy.

"With great attention and excitement I heard your address to our compatriots at the "Baze" youth gathering," Karapetian’s letter said. "Armenia is our homeland and despite the geographic distance a part of our soul and heart is always in the homeland and lives with the pain and concerns of our country, our brothers and sisters, lives with our soil and water."

Karapetian on Wednesday promised to allocate $250 million for various social and business projects in Armenia and invest another $50 million for the "implementation of symbolic projects that will support Armenian statehood and serve its future generations."

Meanwhile, Hambardzumian, who is the founder and chairman of the board of directors of the "Mon Ar" company, pledged on Thursday to donate $10 million to the development and expansion of the Matenadaran Manuscript complex.

"Irrespective of anyone’s financial capabilities our only wealth is our homeland and our only pride–our roots, and we all will be rich when we see our country flourishing," Hambardzumian said.

Zakarian, whose letter of commitment to Sarkisian came Friday, pledged to invest $30 million in Armenia’s mining, insurance and real estate industries. Zakarian is the chairman of Russia’s "Yuniastrum" bank.

"With this letter I want to convince you in our readiness to contribute and participate in the development of our homeland," Zakarian said.

The pledges to invest almost $300 million in the Armenian Republic come as $236.5 million in US Millennium Challenge Corporation funding has been partially frozen by Washington in what appears to be a politically motivated delay aimed at pressuring the Armenian government.

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